Killed with a sandwich press: 79-year-old man pleads guilty to murder of cellmate

There were bizarre scenes at the Sydney Supreme Court today after an elderly man, and convicted murderer, pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate with a sandwich press at Long Bay jail in January last year.

Appearing via video link in court today John Walsh, 79, admitted to bashing his 71-year-old cellmate Frank Townsend to death with the appliance.

Walsh is already serving a life sentence for killing his wife and two grandchildren, and the attempted murder of his daughter at Cowra in the central-west of NSW in 2008.

Contrasting the seriousness of the crime, comical scenes were witnessed in the court hearing today with Justice Peter Johnson asked to "speak up" for Walsh, who is hard of hearing.

When Justice Johnson asked how he would plea, Walsh asked him to repeat the question.

He swiftly responded: "why are you dragging it out for so long? I'm guilty".

The judge told Walsh to restrict his comments. He said the timing was reasonable given this was the first occasion he had entered a plea.

Townsend was found with severe head injuries on January 2, 2017, and later died in hospital.

The matter will return to court for a sentencing hearing in August.

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